Beautiful Godzilla: Street Stereotypes

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In addition to my fixed gear bicycle, I also recently acquired a beautiful Haro beach cruiser my Momma helped fund for my birthday in the hopes that the money spent would somehow deter me from spending more on tattoos. Oh, silly Mom. I absolutely love the cruiser, though. It has three internal gears and is surprisingly light considering how enormous it is compared to my fixie—and did I mention it’s pink?! I’m not the only one who finds it adorable. It’s nearly impossible not to ride the thing without a ridiculous grin on my face and people sticking their heads out of their car windows to tell me how much they like my bike … Very different from the “get out of the road” and “fuck you” I get when on my fixie. There’s just one thing that makes me hesitate to take out the cruiser when choosing my ride for the day: stereotypes.

You see, my strawberry pink cruiser is very obviously feminine—people expect to see a girl straddling its star-embroidered saddle and creamy white fenders. I think my fixie is pretty cute, too, but it’s a fixie: It’s fast, it’s dangerous, it’s more spice than sugar and, apparently, that’s not what some boys in twenty-first century Salt Lake think women should be made of. For those of you who don’t believe me, here’s an example of something that happened just a few weeks ago:

My roommate, the lovely and single Lisa Lynn, is sitting at Pie Hole one day, enjoying a slice on the sidewalk picnic tables with her royal blue fixed gear locked up next to her on the bike rack. According to her, two “hipster-looking dudes” sit down at another table, see her bike, glance around and begin to fondle the elegant steed, talking about the lightness of the frame and her classy blue and yellow Velo City pedal straps. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with bicycle etiquette, it is impolite to manhandle another’s bicycle without asking first, just as it is with anything else in polite society, and I do mean anything. Lisa, however, knows exactly why this is happening right in front of her, and decides not to say a word for the moment, as she strategizes an exit that inspired the topic of my column this month.

Finished with her meal, Lisa walks to her bike and begins unlocking it, to the absolute surprise and embarrassment of its violators. “I’m so sorry,” says one of the offenders. “I didn’t realize that was your bike!” Lisa looks at him, repulsed (or so I imagine), and says matter-of-factly, “You didn’t think it was my bike because I’m a girl,” to which he replies sheepishly, “Well … yeah.”

So, being the angry feminist that I am, you can see how the simple act of locking up my 53cm fixie frame next to a bunch of 58s gives me warm fuzzies. Of course, the satisfaction is even greater when I roll up to those 58s on my pink pedalin’ poonanie and smoke ’em at every light.